Peo­ple’s sto­ries have vari­a­tions

Lodi News-Sentinel - - Opinion - DURLYNN ANEMA Con­tact Durlynn Anema at durlyn­nca@gmail.com.

Ev­ery­one has a story. I’m dis­cov­er­ing this as I meet peo­ple both in our area and in Carlsbad.

Rich, Cathy, Kari and Kali joined me for a week of beaches and walks. When they left I met sev­eral peo­ple willing to tell their sto­ries.

One woman had an un­cle who served three tours of duty in Viet­nam and wanted to tell his real Viet­nam story. I ad­vised get­ting my lat­est book, “Mem­o­ries to Manuscripts,” com­ing out in Septem­ber. Ev­ery­one’s mem­o­ries are also his­tory of sev­eral eras which won’t be re­peated and need to be recorded.

My col­umns drew com­ments as well. Wal­ter Kat­nich’s daugh­ter Gena Kat­nich Brentt wrote in re­sponse to Michael Sage­horn’s mem­o­ries of Tokay High. She made some ex­cel­lent com­ments about the dif­fer­ence in teach­ing then and now.

“Over the years my dad shared a lot of sto­ries about his former stu­dents. Of course, he never named names (as none of us do). Teach­ing in the 1950s, 1960s and into the ’70s was cer­tainly dif­fer­ent than what our teach­ers face in the class­room to­day. I have sev­eral friends who are near­ing re­tire­ment as teach­ers and wish they could run their class­rooms as they were run when they were stu­dents.

“Teach­ers to­day must be very care­ful in the way they talk to their stu­dents for fear of re­tal­i­a­tion from their par­ents. I am as­sum­ing Michael’s par­ents prob­a­bly sent Mr. Car­ney a thank you note for his abil­ity to straighten their fail­ing son around. Yes, it is a dif­fer­ent time, and I long for days past, but I cher­ish my fa­ther’s earnest love and con­vic­tion to teach­ing all stu­dents, good ones and those that weren’t. He and the other teach­ers men­tioned made last­ing im­pres­sions on hun­dreds of chil­dren through­out their ten­ure.”

The com­ments about the huge dif­fer­ence in teach­ing to­day have been voiced by many teach­ers I know. Sev­eral in mid­dle and high school teach­ing said that many ad­min­is­tra­tors seem fear­ful of par­ents.

When a teacher sends a stu­dent to the of­fice for dis­ci­plinary rea­sons that teacher ex­pects re­sults. How­ever, too of­ten the ad­min­is­tra­tor “caves in” to a par­ent com­plain­ing about sin­gling out his or her child.

One teacher said he be­came so dis­gusted with the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s dis­ci­pline pol­icy he gave up send­ing any stu­dents to the of­fice. Fear doesn’t make any­one’s job any eas­ier.

One of my sons teaches at Mid­dle Col­lege High School, thor­oughly en­joy­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence. Only 70 stu­dents are cho­sen for the pro­gram so both stu­dents and par­ents feel priv­i­leged to be in the school. One young man said he was thrilled to be there rather than a reg­u­lar high school, ex­plain­ing he would be has­sled by his peers at the reg­u­lar school be­cause he worked so hard in aca­demics.

Teach­ers have to put up with this dif­fer­ent teach­ing world ev­ery day. Wow! A sa­lute to each and ev­ery one of you.

•••

Re­cently I met a man at the Galt Post Of­fice who had grad­u­ated from Tokay High in 1985. Some­how I gath­ered he had read my Sage­horn col­umn. He said this about Char­lie Schiff­man: “You called him Char­lie. We called him Yoda.” He paused, then added, “He was re­ally strict. We were scared of him. But maybe that wasn’t all bad!”

Talk­ing about Tokay High leads me to an­other of my syn­chronic­ity mo­ments that oc­curred a few years ago. My grand­son Chris Raimundi mar­ried Moniqui, who told me her mother Linda Brown had worked for me at Tokay. Linda worked in the at­ten­dance of­fice and had Leanne John­son as her su­per­vi­sor.

Linda now works for the Galt Po­lice Depart­ment, with her su­per­vi­sor T. J. Guidotti giv­ing her many ac­co­lades. Good train­ing, Leanne.

•••

My col­umn dis­cussing the Mus­lim woman I in­ter­viewed for my re­cently com­pleted book brought this re­ply from Radhika Rao: “U.S. has been so very hos­pitable and kind to all and ac­cept­ing of so many cul­tures. Ev­ery­one needs to ask (as per JFK) ‘What can I do for our coun­try?’ Per­son­ally, PC thing has gone too far! En­joyed Gwin’s ar­ti­cle, too! I am a Navy wife of 20 years and loved be­ing a mil­i­tary wife for all those years. We are very grate­ful and thank­ful for USA!”

Radhika is a board mem­ber on Lodi Li­brary Foun­da­tion, Friends of the Lodi Li­brary and Stock­ton Shel­ter for the Home­less. She cer­tainly is liv­ing her ap­pre­ci­a­tion of her U.S. cit­i­zen­ship.

•••

The Galt com­mu­nity has a story as well. Galt Shop Lo­cal comes to­gether twice monthly to im­prove co­op­er­a­tion be­tween var­i­ous sec­tors of the city. Its vi­sion: “By uni­fy­ing the Cham­ber, busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tions, elected of­fi­cials, busi­ness own­ers and com­mu­nity, we will work to­gether to keep com­merce, jobs and tax rev­enue within our town.”

More on their ac­com­plish­ments and their fu­ture plans in other col­umns.

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